Boat Registration and Licenses in South Dakota

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South Dakota Boat Registration & Licenses

South Dakota boating regulations are enforced by the SD Game, Fish and Parks (GFP), and all registration and title applications are submitted through your local county treasurer.

You've found the correct page if you're looking for information about titling and registering your vessel as well as the requirements to legally operate watercraft on The Mount Rushmore State's waters.

NOTE: You must register and title your boat within 30 days of acquiring it.

Boats to Title & Register in SD

The South Dakota GFP requires the following boats to have titles:

  • Vessels longer than 12 feet.
  • All motor boats acquired on or after July 1, 1993.

Vessels exempt from the Game, Fish and Parks' titling requirement include:

  • Canoes.
  • Kayaks.
  • Inflatable boats.
  • Sailboards.
  • Seaplanes.

Watercraft required to be registered in SD are as follows:

  • All motorized watercraft.
  • Non-motorized vessels more than:
    • 12 feet long—Require validation stickers BUT numbering is optional.
    • 18 feet long—Require stickers AND numbering.

The following types of boats are exceptions to South Dakota's boat registration requirements:

  • Watercraft documented by the U.S. Coast Guard using SD waters for under 60 consecutive days in 1 year.
  • Non-motorized boats measuring 12 feet or less.
  • Any boat registered in another state, as long as it isn't in South Dakota for more than 60 consecutive days.

Still not positive about whether you'll need to title and/or register your boat? Give the SD Game, Fish and Parks a call at (605) 223-7660 for clarification.

Register & Title a Vessel in SD

To register and/or title your boat with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, visit your local county treasurer's office with:

South Dakota boat registrations are valid for 1 year.

South Dakota Title & Registration Fees

The fees to title and register your boat with SD Game, Fish and Parks are as follows:

  • Initial and renewed boat registrations for:
    • Non-motorized vessels over 12 ft AND boats powered by electric motors: $15.
    • Motorized boats less than 19 ft: $25.
    • Motorized boats 19 ft or more: $45.
  • Vessel certificate of title: $10.
    • Per lien added to the title: $10.
  • Replacement:
    • Boat title: $10.
    • Registration card: $1.
    • Vessel decals: $3.
  • Excise tax: 3% of the sale price.

SD Boat Renewals & Replacements

SD boat registrations are good for 1 year. South Dakota GFP will send you a renewal notice before your expiration date.

To renew your vessel registration, return your completed renewal notice AND the appropriate renewal fees to your local county treasurer's office either in person OR by mail.

Replace Vessel Title & Registration

If your SD vessel title or registration is lost or destroyed, you can request replacements by submitting the applicable items below at your local county treasurer's office:

SD Boater Requirements

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks enforces the following age restrictions when it comes to operating watercraft on state waters.

If you are younger than:

  • 12 years old, you CANNOT operate motorized vessels with more than 6 horsepower without the supervision of an adult who's at least 18 years old.
  • 14 years old, you CANNOT use personal watercraft (e.g. jet skis) without an on-board adult who's at least 18 years old.

Even though you aren't required to complete a boater safety course, it's still a good idea to enroll in one. Not only will you become a better boater, but you could also earn discounts on boat insurance.

For more information on available boating education courses and safety tips, visit the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks website.

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